A decision to cut nursing staff hours at Gilgandra Multi Purpose Service (MPS) has prompted local members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) to take to the streets to raise awareness of the risks to patient safety.
Gilgandra Branch members of the NSWNMA fear patient safety has been compromised since Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) management removed 12 nursing hours per day from Gilgandra MPS in September, under the guise of a new model of care for smaller hospitals.
General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Brett Holmes, said the move to slash nursing staff shifts was a contradiction of the Health Minister’s commitment in the months prior to “put patients first”.
“Cutting back nursing staff hours is not the answer for NSW, especially when the state government has indicated it wants to improve service delivery and offer better patient outcomes,” Mr Holmes said.
“It is the opposite of what the NSWNMA has been seeking for the past four years – improved nurse-to-patient ratios across the public hospital system, not less.”
NSWNMA Member Organiser, Sunita Gounder, said local nurses were calling on management to reverse the decision and stop placing nursing staff under additional pressure to provide the same level of patient care.
“Our members are taking action against the nursing shift cuts and have resolved to highlight their concerns directly with the people who are most at risk – the community of Gilgandra,” Ms Gounder said.
“The nursing staff are very worried that patients will suffer as a result of the decision and are calling on management to address the issue as a matter of urgency.”
The NSWNMA is supporting the nurses’ action and has encouraged community members to get behind the local nurses by voicing their concerns and visiting their stall to find out how they can help.
NB: Members of the NSWNMA will hold a stall at The Plaza in Miller Street, Gilgandra (in front of IGA) on Saturday 13 December 2014 from 10.00am to 2.00pm to speak with the community.
Download this media release: Nurses highlight patient safety concerns at Gilgandra MPS